Re: Re : (junk yard dog in) hidden place

Subject: Re: Re : (junk yard dog in) hidden place
From: miriam clinton (iriXx) (
Date: Wed Sep 14 2005 - 08:29:54 EDT



i found your point of view most refreshing and tend to agree with the
issues you raised.

i disagree respectfully with Ned regarding the notion that "a lot of the
electronica that Louis is bored with is simply electroacoustic music
created by people who didn't study it in University". I learnt far more
about music once i /left/ the safe confines and self-justification by
textbooks and musicology/the study of aesthetics in academia - as one of
my wiser tutors warned me, musicology is the study of itself (i.e. she
implied that it was up its own *rse. and yes, i swear and enjoyed a
little refreshment with the unorthodox debate a few months ago although
not entirely agreeing with nor condoning its content!) i enjoyed the
refreshment of unorthodox, un-kosher, unafraid to be un-kosher argument
by someone who i know to be a highly intelligent musician and producer
and whom i have worked with many times.

aside from this...

the story is: a lot of people, but only a few have 'IT'. that spark that
is real talent. this can exist within or without the academic world -
Autechre, anyone? or Aphex Twin - although perhaps I should suggest
Orbital as they are equally intelligent musicians yet they do not belong
to the 'new complexity' school emerging in underground dance which seems
to satisfy the academic's need for self-justification.

it is this very desire for self-justification, proving oneself by backup
materials, quoting X philosopher and Y and Z aesthetician to justify a
piece of /MUSIC???/ which frustrates me. where is the music when it is
wrapped up in proving itself? to a psychologist it would be seen as an
exercise in acting out one's insecurities via bully-boy tactics - I'm
better than you because my textbook is bigger than yours and I can hit
you with it in the playground. Thats pretty much what it amounted to to
me, and thats why I left the cosy confines of the academic world.

Thats not to say I dont enjoy intelligent music from both composers in
the employ of universities and composers from dance underground - or
elsewhere (John Oswald would have to be a favourite of mine, and his
style falls into no genre except one which he invented via his own
experimentations with turntables and tape-machines as a kid - Nor do I dislike all music based on
philosophical context. I just see a large majority of people labeled as
having 'IT' i.e. talent, and pronounced 'kosher' (err, for that matter,
why kosher and not halal, vegetarian or macrobiotic?) to the academic

my senses in listening search for IT. that elusive IT that one may even
find glimpses of, fleeting moments in an otherwise dull piece.

IT can come from anywhere... to quote from one who has IT (Howard
Jones)... 'out of thin air'


bill thompson wrote:

>hi luis,
>i'm sorry if i came off indignant...well, now that i'm
>off my soap box, in many ways i agree about the lack
>of innovation in most music that considers itself
>'new' or 'experimental', particularly electronic/ea.
>it's not just in academic ea concerts either. the
>last few so called cutting edge festivals (kill your
>timid notion, subcurrent, etc) featuring artists that
>aren't academically oriented but don't fit into
>mainstream pop, (they might be more of a new punk-like
>category but doing experimental, mostly electronic
>music, non-beat etc)...well, i was mostly disappointed
>as well. most of the musicians didn't seem aware of
>what it was they were trying to do...often i got the
>feeling that they didn't know what the goal was, so
>how was i supposed to? (there were exceptions though,
>such as amm, tony conrad, wolf eyes, and La Cellule
>d'Intervention Metamkine, all excellent)...
>so, not much of a crap filter in that world either.
>but i wonder if there are other factors in the ea
>world though that hinder innovation? i'm speaking
>naively here, as someone who's only now peeking in
>from the outside as it were, but it seems that there
>is a certain 'standard' that is expected to be upheld,
>certain musical laws (or principals) to be followed,
>and a status quo to be met. but i've noticed that
>often even when these are all observed that the pieces
>sometimes 'fail' or come off limp and
>unsatisfying...sometimes (it seems to me) as a result
>of trying to satisfy these (unspoken?) expectations,
>almost as though the pieces were curbed or restrained
>from going somewhere really incredible...
>i'm curious what would occur if someone were to 'come
>out swinging' and do something that really challenged
>ea conventions, typical music principals, and current
>'standards', not a 'new guy' but someone already
>established within the ea would that
>work be received? sense is that ea composers are
>expected to be innovative, but only so much, within
>boundaries, and only so fast...(i'm sure this is a
>very narrow view-i'm probably more then half-wrong
>here ;))
>it does worry me as someone considering a career in
>academia though, if pressures due to being a lecturer,
>presenting work as a result of 'research', and meeting
>unspoken expectations to not challenge convention 'too
>much' will negatively impact what i have worked so
>hard for, my (fledgling) voice.
>on the other hand, outside of academia, i often get
>the feeling that there is a rebellion against
>perceived 'standards/conventions/principals' but
>instead of re-investigating those ideas personally, a
>blind rebellion occurs and 'out goes the baby with the
>bath water' and you're left with 'freefolk'. (yes, i
>said it, i realllllly don't like it :))
>so who knows. myself, i enjoy artists in and out of
>academia who seem to be creating music that has some
>integrity to them as an individual artist, and isn't
>towing the line for any 'tradition' overtly (although
>i recognize we all work within the context of some
>tradition)...that's my bias and i'm very much
>attracted to 'freshness' even to a fault.
>and quickly, i do enjoy experimental inst'l work (both
>by composers and free improv instrumentalists) too..i
>don't really listen to non-experimental instrumental
>music unless it's one of the 'old guys' (webern on
>back)...i like the spectralists too and some of the
>noisier romanians (dumitrescu/avram), but also the
>free-improv guys like john butcher, greg kelly, peter
>brotzman etc, as well as some new artists based in
>london, rhodri davies and mark wastell...also the old
>greats, scelsi, xenakis, scavarda, lacheman, nono,
>etc...i don't think they've been matched yet.
>ps...not sure what to say about your theory of the
>cost acting as a filter...i'm sure there's some truth
>to it, but wouldn't the increase in availability of
>equipment/shows and thus activity in the ea world
>produce more quality as well as crap?
>"The more you think about things the weirder they seem." -Calvin
>Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005

99% of aliens prefer Earth

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Sat Dec 22 2007 - 01:46:10 EST